CBS Frets Illegal Aliens 'No Longer Feel Welcome' - and the Problem Is?
Published: 5/3/2010 10:58 PM ET
Most support Arizona's impending immigration enforcement law and a solid 78 percent think the federal government should do more to keep illegal immigrants from getting into the U.S. where, Katie Couric noted in citing the new poll numbers, "hundreds of thousands of them now live in Arizona." So, how did CBS take these hardly surprising findings? Couric fretted "many" of those illegals "no longer feel welcome."
Instead of seeing that as good news which will lessen the problem, CBS empathized with the plight of a reproductively profligate law-breaker. "On a dusty block in Phoenix, 15 years of the Quintana family's possessions are for sale," reporter Kelly Cobiella despaired over video of teddy bears before translating for the mother, Manuela, who managed to churn out ten kids who are now U.S. citizens, but hasn't bothered to learn English. Cobiella explained how she decided to leave Arizona (for Colorado) because of the new law which has yet to go into effect.
Cobiella cited how over the past two years about 100,000 illegals have left Arizona and after sharing the complaint of a landlord who has lost tenants, Cobiella raised the sympathy quotient, relating how the 12-year-old daughter's "best friend left to California with her family on Saturday," asking the crying tween: "Did you get to see her yesterday before she left?"
Cobiella cued up mom to deny she's a criminal: '"No,' she says, 'a criminal is someone who kills. I just want to work." Over video of the kids piling into a SUV, Cobiella concluded: "The family packed up before dawn today and headed north to Colorado. Manuela says she's lost hope in this state. She thinks she'll find it again in another."
Under-reporting support for the new Arizona law:
Setting up Cobiella's piece, Couric noted that a new CBS News/New York Times survey determined "slightly more than half said the law is quote, 'about right.'" CBS put "51%" on screen, without pointing out only 36 percent answered "goes too far" and 9 percent said it "doesn't go far enough" - putting the pro v con disparity at a wide 60 to 36 percent.
- "Saturday night: "Nets Celebrate May Day Pro-Illegal Immigrant Protests, Barely Mention Shot Deputy"From the Monday, May 3 CBS Evening News:
- Friday night: "NBC Promotes May Day Anti-Arizona Protests While CBS Finally Notices Crime that Fueled New Law"
- Thursday night: "CBS Trumpets Opposition to 'Notorious' Arizona Law from One Cop and Linda Ronstadt, Already Finds 'Chilling Effect'"
- Wednesday night: "Couric Touts San Francisco as Proof of 'Backlash Against Arizona's New Immigration Law'"
- Tuesday night: "ABC and NBC Champion 'Growing National Backlash' Against 'Laughing Stock' Arizona"
- Monday night, April 26: "CBS Again Focuses on Victims in Arizona: 'Many Feel the Sting of Racism in New Law'"
- Friday night, April 23: "CBS Frames Arizona's Anti-Illegal Alien Law Through Eyes of Opponents: 'Veto Racism'"
KATIE COURIC: We asked about Arizona's new immigration law which empowers the police to demand anyone show proof he or she is in this country legally. Slightly more than half said the law is quote, "about right" [51%]. Nearly two out of three Americans see illegal immigration as a "very serious" problem [65%]. More than three quarters say the U.S. should do more to keep illegal immigrants from crossing the border [78%]. Hundreds of thousands of them now live in Arizona. But as Kelly Cobiella reports, many no longer feel welcome.CBSNews.com version of this story.
KELLY COBIELLA: On a dusty block in Phoenix, 15 years of the Quintana family's possessions are for sale.
COBIELLA TO MANUELA QUINTANA: When did you decide to leave?
COBIELLA, TRANSLATING FROM SPANISH: "When the governor signed the immigration law," Manuela Quintana says, "I knew we had to move."
COBIELLA: For years their family thrived with jobs in restaurants and construction. Their ten [!] children were born here and are U.S. citizens. But she and her husband are undocumented and currently unemployed.
COBIELLA TO MANUELA QUINTANA: What is your biggest fear?
COBIELLA, TRANSLATING: "I'm afraid I will be put in jail," she says. "and my children will be taken away from me."
COBIELLA: Just the thought of moving scares 12-year-old daughter Graciela.
GRACIELA QUINTANA: I think it's gonna be my worst day.
COBIELLA, AT EMPTY PARK: Two years ago this park was filled with families like the Quintanas every weekend. Arizona was home to more than half a million illegal immigrants. Since then at least 100,000 have left.
KYLE KESTER: On this block alone we have 20 vacancies at least.
COBIELLA: Kyle Kester is the Quintana's landlord. He's lost seven tenants in the past week.
KYLE KESTER: This is hurting not just illegals. I was born and raised in the United States and it's hurting me now.
COBIELLA: Graciela's best friend left to California with her family on Saturday.
COBIELLA TO CRYING GRACIELA WITH HEAD IN ARM: Did you get to see her yesterday before she left, Graciela? No?
COBIELLA: Manuela knows she broke the law when she came here 15 years ago.
COBIELLA TO MANUELA QUINTANA: Do you see yourself as a criminal?
COBIELLA, TRANSLATING: "No," she says, "a criminal is someone who kills. I just want to work."
COBIELLA: The family packed up before dawn today and headed north to Colorado. Manuela says she's lost hope in this state. She thinks she'll find it again in another. Kelly Cobiella, CBS News, Phoenix.
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.